South Korea must do more to open its market to U.S. cars before President Barack Obama will send a free trade agreement signed in June 2007 to Congress for a vote, the chief U.S. trade negotiator said on Thursday.
The remarks offered little hope of a breakthrough during Obama's trip to Asia this month that might lead to congressional action on the pact, which is strongly opposed by many lawmakers from auto-producing states.
"Our market is open to Korean autos. All we are asking for is for our own auto companies to be able to compete on a level playing field in the Korean market," U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said in the prepared text of a speech.
Kirk, who will meet with South Korea's trade minister next week in Singapore, told the U.S.-Korea Business Council his office was developing proposals to address concerns about Korea's barriers to U.S. autos, beef and other products....
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Breaking: USTR Demands New KORUS Autos Deal
I'll have commentary on this later. For now, Kirk's speech is here. And this is the introduction to Reuters' story (which is pretty good):